European Parliament approves 45% renewables target


The European Parliament has agreed to increase the EU's renewables share of total final energy consumption to 45% by 2030 as part of a revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

According to the current legislation, the EU is obliged to cover at least 32% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. With the 45% target, the MEPs go beyond the 40% mark decided by the member states in June. The next step is negotiations on the renewables target with the member states.

With 418 favorable votes, 109 unfavorable votes and 111 abstentions, the result was very clear. The conservative EPP, the social democratic S&D, the liberal Renew Europe, and a large part of the Green MPs voted for the new target. The Greens, together with the Left, had previously tried unsuccessfully to win majorities for a target of 55% to 56%.

The parliamentary decision also sets sub-targets for sectors such as transport, buildings and district heating and cooling. In the transport sector, for example, the use of renewable energy should lead to a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – through a higher proportion of advanced biofuels and a more ambitious quota for renewable fuels of non-biogenic origin, such as hydrogen. Industry is expected to increase its use of renewable energy by 1.9 percentage points per year, and operators of district heating networks by 2.3 points.

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In addition, each member state should develop two cross-border projects for the expansion of renewables. Member states with annual electricity consumption of more than 100 TWh are called to develop a third project by 2030.

“Only the development of renewable energy means real independence,” said Markus Pieper, German EPP member and rapporteur for the Renewable Energy Directive. “We strongly support the increased target of 45% for 2030. We reiterate the need for greater cross-border cooperation to expand renewable energy deployment and call for a diversified hydrogen import strategy.”

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